Volunteering for NorCal FTC Championship
FTC tournaments are fast-moving, exciting, and rewarding. One you will remember!
FIRST Tech Challenge is an international head to head competition. Small teams of junior high and high school students design, build, program and test a robot. Most importantly, students acquire skills such as problem solving, project management, community involvement, critical thinking and teamwork: skills necessary to their future and the future of society.
Welcome to the 2016-2017 Season Challenge: VELOCITY VORTEX
We need two types of volunteers: specialty/key roles (such as judges and referees, FTA, Field Control and Scorekeeper) that require training, and general roles that do not. We are seeking adult volunteers for both types of positions, but can also utilize high school students for most of the general roles.
|Sign up to Volunteer at a tournament in VIMS
To volunteer – it is a 3 step process:
Why Volunteer? It’s Fun! It’s Inspiring! and it does Make a Difference. FIRST Works!
Dress Code is Casual – you will probably want to wear comfortable shoes. Judges will be sitting for part of the day and walking around talking / observing teams the rest of the day; Referees will be mostly standing.
Since Judges and Referees are the decision making crew of a tournament, we require that they be adults that are not affiliated with any FTC team – this is why we need you!
Like other judging activities such as science fairs, there is a set of criteria that are defined to help evaluate teams. Volunteering for FTC is a great way to get involved to help budding young scientists and engineers launch their careers, as well as to increase the supply of technical professionals that will be available to industry a few years from now. It’s also an easy and fun way to get involved in the community. Additionally, we love when companies step up to host an event, as that has an amazing impact not just on the youth but also on their parents and family.Almost any adult can be a judge or referee. Among the common concerns or misconceptions:
- I’m not qualified. For judging, most any adult would be able to evaluate the teams in many of the areas. In addition, judges work in teams and we try to pair experienced judges with rookies. Experience with robotics, software, mechanics or Tetrix robots is not required, but is helpful to have technical aptitude for judging the robot design awards.
- It’s too hard to learn. As to judges, most tournaments already have a group of experienced judges to help newcomers learn – the program is growing so fast that we always need more. We provide training materials as well as conference calls to answer questions. The referees’ role is a bit more complicated – the game changes each year. The game rules require attention to detail during the fast paced nature of each match. There is good training available including both self-paced and conference calls.
- It’s too big a committment. Tournaments need just a few hours of training ahead of the day, plus the one-time appearance of about 8 hours. While we have a great group of “serial volunteers” and who would love to see again, organizers understand if you can’t make it to multiple events or even every year due to personal committments, travel or work deadlines.
- It’s too far to go. We have teams coming in from all major areas of Northern California – if driving is an issue, we can try to coordinate a carpool.